Monday, Jul 21, 2003
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By R. Sujatha
The signal near TVS allows for the traffic from Smith Road to enter Anna Salai with a provision to allow vehicles entry into the service lane towards the Arts College junction. However, many vehicles, particularly two-wheelers and autos, now take the narrow service lane to move south, rather than north as they should, creating a hold up near the mouth of the lane and throwing into disarray the oncoming traffic.
In April, Ajay Kumar of Kondithope was fatally run over by an MTC bus at this point, when he was turning into Anna Salai from Smith Road. The bus jumped the signal and hit the two-wheeler rider.
Traffic rules are observed more in the breach than as a rule on Anna Salai. Earlier this week, this reporter was witness to a near accident situation around 8 p.m. when a recovery van of the Ambattur depot of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation had to take a U-turn near the DMS junction on Anna Salai. Vehicles proceeding to Nandanam picked up speed to take the green signal while a traffic police personnel signalled the oncoming traffic to stop, so that the recovery van could take the turn. This put the evening traffic out of gear.
There are other problem points in the city from the traffic management point of view. Thyagaraya Road in T. Nagar, which leads to Thanikachalam Road and Dr. Nair Road, needs constant attention as vehicles have to negotiate two junctions. The electronic signals installed at these junctions have not begun functioning yet and the police umbrella near the Nair Road junction is not used. Sometimes two traffic police personnel are posted at one of these junctions, who often abandon their positions and vehicles make their way through this stretch, throwing all caution to winds.
On congestion and violation of rules, a senior traffic police official said vehicles marked "G" (denoting Government) are found disobeying traffic rules in several instances.
According to a government order issued in 1996 only five categories have been allowed to use the revolving red light atop their vehicles, while ambulances must use blue revolving lights.
Lack of enforcement has resulted in the misuse of this privilege, he says. When the lights are on it is an indication that these vehicles should be given priority on the road but not that the traffic be held up for the movement of these vehicles, which is often the case, they note. Interestingly, some of the traffic officials involved in ensuring safety, said they had not even come across such a stipulation.
In the 1970s, when issuing licences became difficult, the transport department was formed. Why does the police complain now that they have been relieved of the job? All they have on hand is enforcement of the rules, say Transport officials.
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